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"News You Can Use" — May 22, 2013



<> Executive Director Comments on Physicians of Exceptional Excellence 2013, aka, Top Docs:

  1. While our list of board-certified doctors practicing in San Diego County is really, really good, it is not perfect. If you see an error of omission or commission, let us know ASAP. Any verifiable errors noticed before Thursday, May 23, will be fixed on the revised ballot that goes online on Tuesday, May 28.
  2. We have improved the process so the selection criteria balance the opportunity for all modes of practice, but if you don't vote, that improved process is for naught.
  3. Click here for instructions on how to vote.

<> Executive Director Comments on TRICARE: If you take TRICARE Prime, please read very carefully. In the past week, there has been considerable concern about the impact of certain clauses in the new TRICARE Prime contract and its potential for creating a gap in your medical malpractice coverage. While the potential for an uncovered malpractice judgment is very small, the liability for this low probability event could be huge. CMA is dealing directly with the carriers and the contractor to resolve this issue, but, until detailed guidance comes out, we strongly recommend you contact your malpractice carrier directly and obtain guidance from them about your exposure with the new TRICARE Prime contract.

<> Executive Director Comments on MICRA: The fight is on. The trial lawyers have an extraordinarily well-financed campaign in the works. If they fail (and we have worked incredibly hard over the past decade to make sure they are not successful) in the Legislature, they will try the initiative process, and that will cost major money. Stay tuned. 

<> Department of Defense Extends Temporary Waiver for TRICARE Authorizations and Referrals Through June 18, 2013: Click here for details, including how to access CMA's TRICARE Transition Guide, available free to members. 

<> Please Attend SDCMS' 2013 White Coat Gala, Saturday, June 8, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 6-10:30pm. Black tie optional. For ticket or table information, please contact Jen Ohmstede at (858) 300-2781 or at JOhmstede@SDCMS.org.


<> Latest Novel Coronavirus Infection Updates: From CDCFrom WHO

<> Latest H7N9 Updates: From CDCFrom WHO

<> Safe Opioid Provider Resources:


<> Call Your State Senator to Oppose Bill That Would Allow NPs to Practice Medicine Without Supervision: Senate Bill 491 is expected to be heard on the floor of the California State Senate this week. CMA is urging all physicians to call their senators as soon as possible to oppose the bill. Click here to take action. Click here for details

<> CMA Files Brief in Support of MICRA's Cap on Noneconomic Damages: Gavello v. Millman, MD is just the latest in many legal challenges to MICRA that have been funded by trial lawyer groups from across the country. CMA's amicus brief emphasizes the constitutionality and importance of MICRA's cap on noneconomic damages. Click Here 

<> MICRA — Judge Rules Damage Awards Must Be Based on Amount Actually Paid for Medical Care: The Second District Appellate Court has ruled that when determining future economic damage awards in personal injury cases (which includes medical professional negligence), juries can only consider reasonable amounts actually paid or incurred for past medical care, not undiscounted provider bills that were never paid by or on behalf of the injured person. Click Here

<> Anthem Blue Cross Notifies 1,563 Physicians of Need to Recredential or Be Terminated: Click Here 

<> Gov. Brown Releases Revised Budget Proposal, Does Not Eliminate Medi-Cal Reimbursement Cut -- Highlights Below:

  • Medi-Cal 10% Provider Reimbursement Reduction and Clawback ('AB 97 cuts'): The May Revise continues to assume a 10% provider rate cut that will be applied retroactively to July 2012 and prospectively in perpetuity. CMA is sponsoring two bills this year -- SB 640 and AB 900 -- to eliminate the 10% Medi-Cal rate reduction.
  • Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI): Also referred to as the 'Duals pilots,' the CCI is modified in the May Revise. The scheduled phasing for beneficiaries enrolling in the CCI is delayed to no sooner than January 1, 2014. San Diego County will enroll over a 12-month period.
  • Managed Care Organization Tax: As in the January budget, the May Revise proposes to re-establish the Managed Care Organization tax (MCO tax) that was originally created to fund the now defunct Healthy Families program without restoring the Healthy Families program.

Click here for further details

<> CMA Releases 2013 Annotated Model Medical Staff Bylaws: Click Here


<> Walgreens Refuses to Fill Some Controlled Substance Prescriptions Without Additional Information From Prescribers: For more information, see "Fact Sheet on Changes to Walgreens Policy on Filling Prescriptions for Controlled Substances." If you or your patients have difficulties filling prescriptions for controlled substances at any pharmacy in California, please report problems to CMA's Center for Legal Affairs at legalinfo@cmanet.org or at (800) 786-4262. Click Here 

<> Reporting Period to Submit eRx Data and Avoid Adjustment Ends June 30: Click Here 


<> Have You Opined on Physicians of Exceptional Excellence 2013? Note that new for this year is a process that balances the selection opportunity for all modes of practice, but if you don't vote, that new process is for naught.

Member Physicians -- Click Here to Vote:

  • Log in using your password, which was sent to you. If you cannot find your password, click here to retrieve it.
  • You will be taken to a webpage that will include a ballot for every specialty in which you are board certified.
  • First, select physicians of exceptional excellence in your specialty, i.e., someone you would take a close family member to if he or she was in need of a physician in your specialty.
  • Then, on the last ballot -- the "Cross-specialty Write-in" ballot -- select up to twelve (12) physicians in any specialty (except yours) that you wish to recognize for their exceptional excellence.

Nonmember Physicians -- Click Here to Vote:

  • After entering identifying information, and if your record is on file, you will receive voting instructions and your password. 

<> Grossmont Healthcare Fetes Six Volunteers, Including Dr. Susan Kaweski of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation: Click Here

<> Results of the 2013 SDCMS Board of Directors and AMA Alternate Elections:

  • President: Robert Peters, MD
  • President-elect: J. Steven Poceta, MD
  • Treasurer: William Tseng, MD
  • Secretary: Mihir Parikh, MD
  • At-large Director #3: Kosala Samarasinghe, MD
  • At-large Director #5: Mark Sornson, MD
  • At-large Director #7: Vimal Nanavati, MD
  • At-large Alt. Director #1: Karl Steinberg, MD
  • At-large Alt. Director #2: Perry Willette, MD
  • At-large Alt. Director #4: Piyush (Phil) Kumar, MD
  • At-large Alt. Director #6: Elaine Watkins, DO
  • Resident Physician Director: Jane Bugea, MD
  • Resident Physician Alt. Director: Erin Whitaker, MD
  • Young Physician Director: Edwin Chen, MD
  • Young Physician Alt. Director: Renjit Sundharadas, MD
  • East County Geographic Director #1: Venu Prabaker, MD
  • Hillcrest Geographic Director #1: Gregory Balourdas, MD
  • Hillcrest Geographic Director #2: Thomas Lian, MD
  • Hillcrest Geographic Alt. Director: Sunny Richley, MD
  • Kearny Mesa Geographic Alt. Director #1: Anthony Magit, MD
  • La Jolla Geographic Alt. Director #1: Lawrence Goldberg, MD
  • North County Geographic Director #2: Eileen Natuzzi, MD
  • South County Geographic Director #1: Irineo Tiangco, MD
  • AMA Alt. Delegate #1: Al Ray, MD
  • AMA Alt. Delegate #2: Lisa Miller, MD

<> What Did We Do for You in 2012? Click here to view the actions and results for physicians in San Diego, SDCMS' 2012 annual report. 

<> Sign up to Attend Our June 22 "Financial and Legal Literacy for Doctors" Workshop: This three-hour SDCMS members-only workshop is a must-attend for financially and legally challenged physicians. This will be a very, very practical and user-focused vendor / brand-agnostic workshop where physicians will learn the right questions to ask and how to spot the wrong answers; you will leave the workshop with the top 10 questions to ask / wrong answers to spot in each of the following topics:

  • Financial
  • Legal
  • Real Estate
  • Taxes and Accounting
  • Time vs. Money
  • Insurance
  • Picking Your Advisors

Saturday, June 22, 2013, 8:00am-12:00pm, at SDCMS's offices on Ruffin Road. Email me at Gehring@SDCMS.org to reserve your spot. 

<> Sign up to Attend Our July 20 "Taming Microsoft Outlook" Workshop: This three-and-a-half hour SDCMS members-only workshop is a must-attend for those busy physicians looking to make Microsoft Outlook their servant and not their master. This will be a very, very practical and user-focused workshop. Physicians will come away from this workshop with a greater understanding of Microsoft Outlook and its versatility as a desktop information manager. As well, you will have a new appreciation for a system that enables you to be more efficient, productive, and in control. We will cover the following topics:

  • Important Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • To-do Lists
  • Meetings
  • Projects
  • Oh, and All Those Emails ...

Saturday, July 20, 2013, 8:00am-12:00pm, at SDCMS's office on Ruffin Road. Email me at Gehring@SDCMS.org.


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<> Is Your Office Manager / Practice Administrator Using SDCMS' Online Forum? Click Here to Join 

"If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence."
— Lao-Tzu, Chinese Philosopher (400–531 BCE)

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